Kaepernick is Better Off Without Football
Colin Kaepernick hasn't played a down of football since 2016, essentially, he's been blackballed from the NFL. Many have taken notice of lesser QB’s getting chances that Kap should have been afforded. I'm looking at you Chicago for signing Mike Glennon to a hefty contract. Even his teammate Akiem Hicks put Glennon's name out there when asked about Kaepernick being left out.
Kaepernick is back in the limelight with weeks of protests against racial injustices and police brutality across America and here in Canada. The injustices that the black and aboriginal communities have been exposed to in North America through the centuries are still ongoing today.
The then San Francisco 49ers Quarterback shone a light on those very issues back in 2016 and protested by kneeling during the American national anthem. His rationale behind the protest was simple:
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour,"
Many called out Kaepernick for being disrespectful to the flag, the military, and accused him of being “unAmerican”. The NFL was either unwilling, or unable to take on the divisive topic, and since there's been lawsuits of collusion levied against the league itself for keeping Kaepernick off a roster. Kap did get a settlement (which should tell you the league was guilty) but alas was still left without a team.
Just recently the commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell sent a message supporting the peaceful protesting...
This statement came AFTER multiple players, including league MVP Patrick Mahomes, and a supposed took matters into their own hands standing up for against police brutality.
We know Goodell isn't the people's commissioner, the man has been trying to censor this very topic for the better part of last decade. Even though having their big stars speaking up is a positive, it feels like Goodell’s response only did it to cover their ass.
Also, speaking of some the leagues biggest stars, New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees wanted to chime in his thoughts on kneeling during the anthem.
"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,"
Brees, just like many, don't get the concept of what Kaepernick knelt for. His own teammates called him out. Malcolm Jenkins basically told him to “shut the fuck up” and his star receiver Michael Thomas said Brees “didn't know better”. Brees did apologize, but speaking for myself, I'm not buying it. Switching stances on a topic like this overnight is only done to save face and his career.
Many NFL owners fall in this very same category. Go to jail for assault, domestic violence, or drunk driving is fine, but heaven forbid you stand up for your human rights as a black man. Last week teams across the league were participating in blackout Tuesday, and a few repped the #blacklivesmatter hashtag, seems a little hypocritical and a bit too late.
Kaepernick has been such an inspiration in the community. He's supported and given up his hard earned money to countless charities. Going from being an athlete to an advocate of racial injustice. Listen should Kaepernick be in the NFL? Of course he should! In my opinion, at this point in time, even if he could come back he shouldn’t. As much as I would love to see Kaepernick living his dream, to me given how important he is, it would feel like a step back.
He's become a massive figure in the African American community, and he shouldn't give a damn about the NFL. What he's doing off the field is more important. He does train everyday to try and come back, and I commend him for doing so, but what he’s doing is bigger than football. This is Kaepernick trying to help millions to spread awareness, and to be frank, the NFL is too morally corrupt to understand that.
For Kaepernick playing football means everything for the guy. He sacrificed a lot and put his neck on the line to raise awareness for a problem that still isn’t solved. Many have and still look the other way. He's a hero, a role model, and an icon. He doesn't need to play football. Why? Because what he stands for is bigger than the NFL, he's bigger than throwing footballs for entertainment.
No question Kap should get his due by being able to come back and play. Though in my opinion he's better off not looking back, but moving forward without the game of football. Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.